The African Development Bank (AfDB), says it is currently investing 25 billion dollars to help make agriculture and agribusiness Africa’s biggest industry.
The statement by the bank’s Communication and External Relations Department on Thursday, said the AfDB’s president, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina made the disclosure at the ongoing Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD) in Japan.
Adesina said the reason was not far-fetched and predicted that the size of food and agriculture would rise to one trillion dollars by 2030.
According to him, a lot of progress has been made in this renewed drive to transform agriculture on the continent.
“The AfDB inaugurated the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) to help ramp up technologies to millions of farmers.
“TAAT connects the global agricultural research centres, national agricultural research centres, private sector and agricultural value chains in Africa, in an unprecedented effort to connect the supply and demand side of technologies seamlessly.
“For the first time, accountability was built into the approach, with technology delivery compacts signed by all participating institutions and partners.
“TAAT partners, which include the World Bank, AGRA, IFAD and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have mobilised one billion dollars.
“The results are impressive. Last year alone, the TAAT maize compact helped to deliver water efficient maize across the Southern Africa region that was experiencing severe drought.
“Working with 30 private seed companies, the TAAT maize compact produced more than 27,000 tons of seeds of water efficient maize that was planted by 1.6 million farmers in just one year,’’ he said.
He said Africa must feed itself and it must do more than that while the continent must also turn itself into a global power-house in food production.
According to him, the bank is working to turn agriculture into a business, one that creates wealth, jobs and delivers improved quality of life to millions of farmers.
“A business that transforms the rural economies of Africa from zones of economic misery to zones of economic prosperity.
“While the Bank’s High 5s are to Light up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Lives of the People of Africa, much of my remarks will be limited to what it will take to Feed Africa,’’ he said.
AfDB boss mourns Akinkugbe
The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, says he is saddened by the demise of the renowned nephrologist, Emeritus Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Akinkugbe, who was a pioneer nephrologist in Africa, died on Monday at the age of 86 after a protracted illness.
Adesina expressed sorrow over the death of the professor via his official Twitter account, @akin_adesina, as monitored in Ibadan on Monday.
“I am saddened by the death of Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe today at the age of 86 years. Prof was a rare gem.
“An exceptionally brilliant and globally acclaimed Professor of Medicine.
“He made Nigeria proud and served selflessly. Thank you sir for your life of immense service. RIP,” he tweeted.
NAN reports that the late octogenarian had outstanding achievements in the field of nephrology and hypertension.
The late don was conferred with the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) Pioneer Award in 2019 for his extraordinary efforts to advance nephrology in Nigeria.
Akinkugbe successfully trained the first generation of indigenously taught nephrologists who went on to become leading figures in nephrology in the country and inspiring a new generation of African doctors to take up nephrology.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
AfDB COVID-19 emergency packages reach 5 geographic regions in Africa – Official
The African Development Bank (AfDB) says its COVID-19 emergency packages have reached five geographic regions in Africa.
The AfDB’s Communications and External Relations Department made this known in a statement on Saturday.
The bank explained that in west Africa, before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, West Africa was home to at least four of the continent’s fastest-growing economies, and it had felt the impact of the disease hard, as borders remained closed and economic and social distress deepened.
“Gambia, Mali and Niger will benefit from an ECOWAS support package to bolster national health systems in response to the pandemic. Much of the funds to this region will seek to address shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and other emergency equipment.
“The support will also enable governments to provide shortfall cash to the millions of people who have been affected by mass layoffs or are unable to work because of lockdowns.
“In the packages, Nigeria has 288.5 million euros, Senegal 88 million euros, Cote d’Ivoire 75 million euros, Cabo Verde 30 million euros and ECOWAS 22 million dollars.
“In the North African region, the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 60,000 cases as at 12 June. The disease has already triggered a sharp drop in household incomes in North Africa, as export and tourism earnings suffer.
“The region will be assisted with a series of emergency operations to boost containment measures and help to ensure the supply and distribution of laboratory tests and reagents. The package will also support national and regional coordination mechanisms.
“In the region, Morocco will get 264 million euros, Tunisia 180 million euros and Egypt 500,000 dollars.
“In East Africa, the continent’s fastest-growing region economically has been simultaneously struck by the coronavirus outbreak and an infestation of desert locusts, a double whammy for the region’s farmers and economies.
“Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda are the top-performing countries, which have all seen a sharp fall in tourism revenue. Kenya has 188 million euros” the bank said.
AfDB disclosed that measures had been taken across the South African region to contain the pandemic, which had affected millions of people, many of whom work in the informal economy.
It added that assistance to this region came in the form of preventive and protection measures as well as financial assistance to the vulnerable beyond the end of the epidemic.
According to the bank, Mauritius will get 188 million euros while Zimbabwe receives 13.7 million dollars.
The AfDB stated that in Central Africa, the package approved for this region, was 13.5 million dollars, which would target the provision of PPE, testing kits and healthcare and laboratory facilities.
It said the beneficiaries were Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, which is among the countries with the least number of ventilators on the continent and had 13.5 million dollars.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Bank announced a COVID-19 Response Facility that would provide up to 10 billion dollars to African governments and the private sector to tackle the disease and mitigate suffering from the economic downturn and job losses.
Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)
COVID-19: AfDB approves $20m to contain spread in G5 Sahel nations
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved 20 million dollars in grant funding to build capacity to curb and stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in five countries. The funding, from the African Development Fund, is to achieve the purpose in Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.
The bank’s Communications and External Relations Department disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.
It said that the operation would provide funding for the project which would also boost resilience of vulnerable communities, including internally displaced persons, refugees and their host communities, in the countries, also known as the Sahel zone’s Group of 5 (G5).
It said the project would support epidemiological surveillance and case management capacity and make available medical products for COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment.
This is to ensure the deployment of social protection measures in targeted communities, especially, internally displaced persons, refugees and their host communities, to strengthen food and nutrition systems.
The bank said that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) would provide operational support for the project.
“This operation will complement the development and humanitarian actions of the huge partnership of the Sahel Alliance Initiative and will support the most vulnerable.
“An additional 1.372 million dollars of grant funding from the Bank’s Transitional Support Facility, will also be deployed in G5 countries to strengthen the delivery and coordination capacity of the G5 SAHEL Permanent Secretariat and support training on biosecurity and biomedical waste management in the concerned countries.
“This extension of grant funding to the G5 Sahel zone countries falls under the framework of the Bank’s COVID-19 response facility of up to 10 billion dollars, which is the institution’s main channel to provide assistance to African countries to cushion the economic and health impacts from the crisis.
“Recent CRF assistance packages have been directed to a group of Economic Community of West African states as well as to countries in the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa zone and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“The region has been hit by COVID-19, if less hard than some other regions of Africa. As of June 6, Niger had recorded 966 cases, Burkina Faso 885, Mali 1,485, Mauritania 883 and Chad 836, for a total of 5,055 cases in the five countries.
“G5 countries have begun to lift emergency measures that had been put in place to halt and contain the spread of the disease. The entire continent has seen 175,423 cases and 4,862 fatalities” the AfDB said.
Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
AfDB Vice President Blanke resigns
Dr Jennifer Blanke, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, has resigned her appointment.
The bank’s Communications and External Relations Department made this known in a statement on Wednesday.
Blanke, who joined the Bank in early 2017 and had overseen a number of the bank’s key programmes, would officially leave on July 4.
The statement quoted the outgoing Vice president as saying “I thank President Akinwumi Adesina for his strong leadership, guidance and support which have undoubtedly motivated and helped my team and I to play a key role in the transformation of the bank.
“I feel privileged to have been given an opportunity to contribute to the bank’s agenda for accelerating Africa’s social and economic trasformation.
“I am leaving purely for family reasons to rejoin my family in Switzerland after a very fulfilling time at the bank. I will miss the bank and the excellent team we have built.
“I will continue to strongly support the bank from whereever I am,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Adesina expressed delight to have worked with Blanke for more than three years and she had demostrated genuine leadership skills.
He said the outgoing vice president had moved “the needle on so many fronts especially in the areas of food security, women financial empowerment and job creation”.
The AfDB boss wished her all the best and looked forward to continued partnership and engagement with her.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)